The Department for Education and Child Development (DECD) has updated its procedures to ensure schools provide consistent support for gender diverse students.
The ‘Supporting same sex attracted, intersex and gender diverse students’ procedure outlines school and preschool responsibilities in relation to state and commonwealth legislation.
The procedure applies only to transgender students who are currently transitioning and whose gender identity has been discussed with parents and confirmed by health professionals.
It stresses the importance of schools working with gender diverse students to provide for the student’s physical and psychological safety and wellbeing in the school environment.
In addition, the procedure describes how schools should approach issues such as toilet and change room access, school uniform options and sleeping arrangements on school camps to ensure the needs of the student and wider school community are properly considered.
Anne-Marie Hayes, DECD Executive Director, Early Years and Child Development, said:
‘The aim of the procedure is to ensure all children and young people receive a quality education in a safe, supportive and inclusive environment that is free from discrimination or harassment.
‘We know that gender diverse students experience bullying and harassment from their peers at school and it is vitally important that they know there are processes and procedures in place that support them.
‘Research shows this helps the student feel safer and more secure as well as attend school more often.’